Twilight, Volume 1 by Stephanie Meyer & Young Kim
Yen Press, 2010
Fantasy; 224 pgs
You know the story. This is the graphic novel version. I confess I was a little leery about reading this one, but my friend insisted. I haven't always been impressed with the results that come with the translation of one form to the other (take Laurel K. Hamilton's Guilty Pleasures, for example). Artist and adapter Young Kim did an amazing job, however. The artwork is beautiful. The story holds true to the original book for the most part, with minor changes here and there for the sake of brevity. Dare I say I liked the graphic novel a bit more than I liked the original version? Volume 1 is the first of three that will retell the story in Stephanie Meyer's Twilight.
Scalped: Indian Country by Jason Aaron & R.M. Guéra
Crime Fiction; 126 pgs
I have been struggling to find words to describe my thoughts on Scalped: Indian Country. I remember asking my husband if he had any western oriented graphic novels that I might recommend to a friend, and this was the closest he could fine. Of course, I had to read it first. It's not your typical western. The story is set in the present on an Indian Reservation, where corruption and greed rule the day. A hardened man with a chip on his shoulder returns to the reservation he once had run away from, gets into a bar brawl and lands on the police force of the tribal leader/crime boss.
Our anti-hero, Dashiell "Dash" Bad Horse, doesn't waste time busting meth labs, getting into a gun fight, and going after his childhood girlfriend's lovers. In the background is the story of his mother and her own connection with the crime boss. Both had been activists during their younger years, and Dash's mother continues in that vein today. Everyone seems to have a secret, a couple of which we learn in the first volume of this series.
The author knows how to place the punchline to get the fullest effect, while at the same time using it to build more suspense. I wanted to like Scalped, but I did not much care for it. It was dark and gritty, both characteristics I generally like. Maybe I finally met my match. Scalped was a little too dark and gritty for me. It didn't help that I sometimes had trouble figuring out who was who. I doubt I will be following up with the next volume in the series.
Hellblazer: Chas - The Knowledge by Simon Oliver & Goran Sudžuka
Horror; 128 pgs
Feeling a bit like a failure at reading and enjoying graphic novels after the last one, I was reluctant to start on Chas. My fears were unfounded, however, as I really enjoyed my first experience with the Hellblazer series, even if I started with a stand alone featuring one of the minor characters of the main series. I labeled this one a horror novel, but it really is a combination of horror and mystery. When an evil is unleashed in the city of London, seeking to finish what it had started hundreds of years before, cab driver Chas must pull himself out of his funk and try and stop it. Not only is his friend's son's life at stake, but so is the city.
While the main plot line was interesting, my favorite aspect of the novel was in the details. The artwork in addition to the writing gave the characters depth, in particular Chas. I look forward to reading more by Simon Oliver in the future.
Have you read any graphic novels lately?
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